MABALACAT CITY -- Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo said that he and General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera recently forged a sister city agreement which will push for the opening of direct flights from Clark to GenSan and vice versa.
The sisterhood pact was signed after the culmination of the weeklong 21st Tuna Festival held at General Santos, attended by a delegation from Mabalacat City led by Mayor Garbo.
"The agreement covers the opening of direct flights that will help trim down the costs and time of travel for tourists and business traders, as well as facilitate faster movement of commodities between the two areas, particularly shipments of tuna products from the city to the markets in Clark, Mabalacat and even neighboring regions here and abroad," Garbo said.
Garbo said Clark is a viable jump-off point for fresh tuna to Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, the United States, and Europe.
He added that the demand for tuna products of restaurants in Pampanga and Luzon is also increasing, especially for sashimi-first grade tuna.
The pact between Mabalacat City and GenSan City aims to open more trade and tourism exchanges and promote greater understanding and goodwill, according to the mayor.
Rivera signed separate MOUs for sisterhood with the cities of Angeles and San Fernando.
Angeles was represented by City Councilor Jose Ponce, and San Fernando by City Councilor Benedict Lagman.
Another MOU was also forged between General Santos City and the Clark Development Corporation, through its president Noel Manankil.
These events are offshoots of General Santos City's engagements with Clark stakeholders during its investment, trade, and tourism mission in the area last June.
The sisterhood agreements are expected to promote and foster mutually beneficial exchanges between the four cities and the state-run firm.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Mabalacat City Vice Mayor Gerald Aquino; Councilors Krizannel "Winwin" Garbo, Jun Castro, Elizabeth Pineda, Nino Delos Reyes, Victor "Cocoy" Tiglao, Jerry Magsino, Dwight Morales, Carl Dizon, Marjorie Sambo, Ruvelaine Margarito, and Hans Balingit; GenSan Vice Mayor Loreto Acharon and other city employees.
GenSan is Mabalacat City’s first of many sister cities.